Community Christian Church

 Beliefs

Since we are not a denomination and have no written creed, it is difficult (and presumptuous) to suggest an official system of beliefs for our fellowship. The following is an observation concerning what the majority of our churches believe. This in no way is to construe an official statement. It serves only as one man’s perception of the typical position of our churches.

The Christian churches have a distinctive plea. Of course, in many ways we agree with others striving to follow Christ. We believe in the divine inspiration of the entire Bible and that it is sufficient to guide us in all matters of faith; in the death of Jesus Christ and His atonement for our sins; and that after death all men will be rewarded or punished in another life for the way they have lived here. And with all people of real religious conviction we insist that the moral principles of Jesus are absolute truths to be exemplified in the personal righteousness of the child of God.

The Scriptures

All scripture is God-breathed – given by inspiration. The Old Testament, which was God’s revelation to the Jews, is the schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. The New Testament is God’s revelation to spiritual Israel – the Church. (see II Timothy 3:16-17; Galatians 3:24)

However, we not only believe that the Scriptures are inspired, but also are convicted that the New Testament gives us direction to salvation through Christ and how to be part of His Kingdom.. God’s Word frequently warns us against changing the divine message. (See Galatians 1:6-9) We, therefore, have no creed or catechism to present, but accept Christ as our only creed and the Bible as our only guidebook. (see Matthew 16:16) In this way we are never prevented by an erroneous creed from accepting any truth, which may be learned from God’s Word.

The Trinity

The term trinity is not found in the Bible; we prefer the term used by Paul to describe the triune personality or manifestation of God: the Godhead (translated also as Divine Nature). (see Colossians 2:9) Although it is difficult for finite beings, like man, to fully comprehend God’s nature, He has revealed himself as the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. (see Matthew 28:19-20)

The Christ

Jesus is the second person of the Godhead who became flesh and dwelt among men. His birth to a virgin was miraculous. Even though tempted as a man, He did not sin. At the end of a three and one half year ministry, He gave his life willingly to die on the cross as the sacrifice for sins. He rose from the grave and ascended to the Father. He will return.
(see Matthew 1:22-25; 27:50; 28:1-7)

The Church

The church is a divinely appointed institution. (see Acts 2) It is the ekklesia or called out assembly of believers. Christ is the head of the church. It is his body. It belongs to Him. God adds members to the church. The local church is a portion of the Body of Christ that meets regularly in a certain area. Each congregation is autonomous. There is no authority higher than the local level. We are not a denomination. No counsel, convention, or delegation imposes a system of beliefs on the local congregation. The local congregation is under the responsibility of overseers. The names, elder and bishop, are synonymous terms used to describe the same office. Deacons assist the elders in the physical matters of the congregation.

Worship

The essential parts of scriptural worship are the following: study of God’s word, fellowship, the Lord’s supper, and prayer. Giving is a regular part of a Christian’s responsibility. We are instructed to sing.
(see II Timothy 2:15; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Ephesians 5:19)

The Lord’s Supper

Communion is practiced weekly, as was the pattern of the New Testament church. It is open to anyone. Each individual must examine himself/herself.
(see Matthew 26:26; Acts 20:7)

Instrumental Music

Instrumental music is neither specifically commanded nor is it condemned (see Ephesians 5:19). Each congregation has the liberty to use or not use instrumental music in worship. Community Christian Church chooses to use instruments in our worship services. We do not make it a test of fellowship.

Names

We use Bible names for our members and our Churches. We are Christians only. We are not the only Christians.
(see Acts 11:26)

Terms of Salvation

By His grace, God who loved the world has provided salvation for mankind. This was accomplished by the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. God has done his part; man has the opportunity to accept or reject God’s free gift of salvation. This is accomplished in our obedience to God’s will: 1) Hear the Gospel (Romans 10:17; John 6:44,45) 2) Believe in Christ (Matthew 16:16; John 20:30,31) 3) Repent of Sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19) 4) Confess Christ before Men (Matthew 10:32) 5) Be Baptized (Acts 2:38) 6) Live a Faithful Christian Life (Matthew 10:22; Rev. 2:10)

How To Be Just A Christian

In few places is there so much disagreement as in answering the Bible question, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) Here again, churches of Christ reply by going to the scriptures for their answer. The Bible teaches that Christ shed His blood for our sins (Matthew 26:28), and that without it we cannot be saved. (Hebrews 9:22) But what does Jesus require of us if we are to appropriate that sacrifice? Those who crucified Him were told to “know assuredly” or believe that Jesus is “both Lord and Christ”. (Acts 2:36) When these people on the day of Pentecost then asked for further information, they were told, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38) Today we teach, as did the apostles then, that for Christ’s blood to remove our sins we must, as believers in Him, repent and be baptized. As we are thus saved from our sins, the Lord adds us to His body, the church. “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47) “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body…” (I Corinthians 12:13) The saved, then, are in the body or church of Christ; one cannot be saved and be outside this body.

The early disciples were Christians only. Although we live 1900 years later, we too can be Christians, only if we will follow the same teachings given to these first followers of Jesus. Christ said, “… The seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11) Just as surely as a planted acorn will produce only an oak, so God’s Word will produce Christians and nothing more. We invite your earnest consideration to this plea.

Baptism

To outsiders, we appear to over-emphasize baptism and its importance. This is done because: a number of others de-emphasize its importance, the introductions of changes in its mode and to whom it is administered, and the emphasis that the scriptures places upon this practice

The mode of baptism is immersion; the Greek verb baptizo can only mean to dip or immerse. This is alluded to in the Bible. John baptized near Enon where there was much water. When Philip baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch, they both went down into the water. Baptism is depicted as a burial. God prefigured baptism in the Old Testament with the flood (a cleansing of the world) and the parting of the Red Sea (a rite of passage to the Promised Land). John, the forerunner of Jesus, began the practice. Jesus set the example. It is preceded by belief and repentance. Therefore infants can not be scripturally baptized. It is for salvation, the remission of sins, to wash away sins, to participate in the death of Christ, to put on Christ and it is how one calls upon the name of the Lord. It is connected with the new birth. It is where a person receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a part of the Great Commission. The Bible places a great deal of emphasis on the practice. (see John 3:23; 3:5; Acts 8:36-38; Romans 6:1-5; Matthew 3:5-6; 13-15; Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27; Matthew 28:19-20)

Clergy

Although most congregations have ministers or a ministerial staff, there is no distinction of the clergy and the laity. The Bible teaches of the priesthood of all believers. (see 1 Peter 2:9)

Eschatology ("Second Coming")

Most congregations do not make a millennial view as a test of fellowship; they believe that this is a matter of opinion up to the individual. We must also note that the majority of our people hold the amillennial position. The amillennial position is as follows: Amillennial means no literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth from a rebuilt city of Jerusalem. Christ is reigning in Heaven during this church age. His reign is spiritual, over the hearts of men. Revelation 20 is understood to be figurative language and represents the whole church age. When the Second Coming takes place (I Thessalonians 4:13-18), Christ will come for His Kingdom to turn over to God (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

Eternity

There is a hell to be shunned and a heavenly reward to be desired. (Revelations 20:11-15)